The Good Life
with a Southern Drawl

Haunted Hotels Of The South

By Amy Bailey — October 30, 2014

It’s that spooky time of year when the veil between life and death grows thinner. People dressed as witches, ghosts, and ghouls trick or treat, but there are some places where ghosts are believed to be real. These Top Haunted Southern Hotels are known for their undead residents that have given hotel guests plenty of sleepless nights. Whether you are traveling for Halloween or just looking for a trip that’s a real scream, visit one of these haunted hotels:

St. James Selma, AL – The St. James in Selma, Alabama has been standing for some time, even spared by the Union during the Civil War as one of the only places not burned to the ground. Jesse James and his gang stayed at the hotel and his ghost along with his girlfriend are said to haunt the hotel. Guests have seen James dressed in 19th century cowboy attire while his girlfriend Lucinda is detected by her lavender scent. If you stay at the hotel try to visit on a day when you can take part in Selma’s Haunted History Tour.

Hotel Monteleone New Orleans, LA – During the late 1800s, the wealthy Begere family stayed at the Hotel Monteleone often. Jacques and his wife Josephine loved attending the French Opera House on Bourbon Street, but the lengthy operas were no place for their young son, Maurice. Entrusted in a nanny’s care, Maurice – just a toddler at the time – developed a fever one evening while his parents were at the opera. Although he received care, it was not enough. Maurice had a convulsion and died in his room. The grief his parents felt upon their return is hard to comprehend. She and Jacques returned to the hotel year in and year out in hopes that the spirit of Maurice might visit them. Eventually, he did. On the fourteenth floor (which is really the thirteenth floor), Maurice appeared to his mother, near the room where he died. In a striped shirt typical for children of that era, Maurice told his mother, “Mommy, don’t cry. I’m fine.” The encounter left Josephine in tears, overjoyed at having a loving moment with her young, departed son. Maurice’s parents weren’t the only ones who saw the boy. To this day, guests report seeing the ghost of a friendly toddler on the fourteenth floor – the same floor that the International Society for Paranormal Research determined to be a hotbed of paranormal activity. Phyllis Paulsen, a regular guest at the hotel, provided details of her own encounter with Maurice Begere:  “I was just relaxing in bed one morning when I looked up to see a young boy, about three years old, walk by the foot of my bed.  My husband had just left for a meeting, so I thought he may not have closed the door all the way.  I immediately got up to see if the door was open, and to check if a parent many have followed him into the room. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had seen a ghost.”

Monmouth Plantation Natchez, MS – The heavy, pondering footsteps of John A. Quitman are believed to be heard in his former home, Monmouth Plantation. Quitman, who purchased the house in 1826, served in the state house of representatives and state senate, then as governor before serving in the Mexican-American War. Upon his return, he was elected as a Representative to Congress. While in Washington, Quitman contracted the “National Hotel Disease,” a mysterious epidemic that struck guests of the National Hotel and is believed to have been caused by poison introduced into the hotel’s food. Quitman died at Monmouth in 1858.

Omni Grove Park Inn – The mysterious Pink Lady at The Omni Grove Park Inn has been seen, felt and experienced by hotel employees and guests for more than a half century. Little was known about the Pink Lady – just a swirl of stories about a young woman dressed in pink who fell to her death in the Palm Court atrium around 1920. Mere rumors, tales and lore weaving through the inn’s rich history. In 1996, the Omni Grove Park Inn conducted in-depth research on the Pink Lady phenomenon and the resulting evidence focused on room 545, two stories above the Palm Court atrium floor. Research suggests the Pink Lady ghost is the grandmother of the noted local author Bruce Johnson. A painter from the late 1950s or early 1960s and the hotel’s current engineering facilities manager have reported strikingly similar tales about room 545. Both got cold chills on their way into the room so severe they never again attempted to enter. Interestingly, neither employee knew of the other’s experience, or about room 545’s connection to the Pink Lady. Another employee who has seen the Pink Lady several times over the past five years describes the apparition as “a real dense smoke – a pinkish pastel that just flows.” A worker was standing at an elevator when the door opened and she was in it. She disappeared in front of his eyes.

Rawls Hotel Enterprise, AL – Unusual occurences are commonplace at The Rawls Hotel. Children’s laughter has been heard by workers and guests when there are no children around. A local man spent years restoring the hotel, he has stories of seeing a girl around the age of 12 running down the halls and also recounts trying to hangwindow treatments and finding them repeatedly torn down, on his last attempt to hang them a board came flying across the room and hit him – he took it that Mr. rawls did not like the window treatments.

Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, AR – Originally opened in 1886 as a luxury resort it later closed and was then reopened by Dr. Norman Baker as a hospital. The only thing was Dr. Bkaer was more of a mad scientist with no doctoral degree. He claimed to have cures to illnesses even treating brain tumors by exposing the brain and pouring his ‘potion’ directly onto the brain. After Dr. Baker was exposed, body parts in jars, cavaders, etc were found in the Crescent. Today you can visit the morgue in the hotel where Baker stored cavaders and performed autopsies. A nurse that worked for Baker, a student, and a worker who was killed in the building of the hotel are all said to haunt the property to this day.

Casablanca Inn St. Augustine, FL – Casblanca Inn hosts ghost tours for guests to experience what many have seen for themselves. The original owner of the hotel is said to haunt the halls and roof waving a lantern that she once waved to let rum smugglers know it was safe to come to the hotel.